tv Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN September 16, 2012 7:00am-8:00am PDT
they knew the danger, and they accepted it. they didn't simply embrace the american ideal. they lived it. they embodied it. ♪ -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com this is gpps, the global public square. welcome to all of you around the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. we have at important story for you today. we'll talk to wolfowitz and others. next up, michael lewis spent eight months in the white house with unprecedented access to president obama. we'll talk about who obama is and how he makes decisions. also, why is israel trying to
get the united states to commit to waging war when israel itself isn't willing to do so. and finally we'll take a look at these pictures. do you think they were taken by nasa or the european space agency? no, a teenager with a second-hand camera. but first here's my take. the images of the american embassy burning in benghazi might have conjured up memories of tehran in 1979,but the analogy is false. in libya, the government is not fomenting anti-americanism. it's lamb meanting it. the violence there appears to have been the work of small extremist elements that lack much popular support. but the storm has spread from libya. across the middle east there have been protests rallying against the united states and the west in general. even in these places, however, keep in mind that these crowds
number in the hundreds, perhaps thousands. in countries with tens of millions of people. they make for vivid images be u they don't tell the whole story. what can we say about these places and protests? first in many of these countries, particularly those that have toppled dictatorships, the most important reality is not of bad government but of weak government. in libya, yemen, and even egypt, the state has lost its ability to control its public. in a sense, this might be progress. egypt didn't see protests like this before because mubarak's regime would arrest, even shoot protesters. the current egyptian president is an elected politician and is he is trying to pander, appease, direct, and guide his people. i wish he were bolder and fought the extremist elements in his society head on, but let's face it. he's banking like an elected politician. second, what we are
witnessing is indeed the consequence of the arab spring. arab societies were locked down for 50 years. the lid has come off them, and what we're seeing inside has some good elements, moderates, liberals, pragmatists, and some very nasty elements, extremists, islamic fundamentalists, jihadees. let us be honest. there is a cancer of extremism in the arab world, one that was diagnosed extensively after 9/11 by many including me. that cancer has not been cured. most of the forces that produced it still remain. we should be honest that it exists, we should be honest that moderates in the region tend to be weak, often cowardly, but we should try to help them. if the united states pulls out, the crazies only get stronger. the clash of civilizations exist, and it is within islam between those who want to burn american embassies and those who want to partner with us in
building modern societies. we have a stake in who wins that struggle. let's get started. joining me now, the man who was national security adviser in 1979 when the u.s. embassy was taken over, zbigniew brzezinski. national security adviser. welcome, zbigniew. >> welcome. good to see you. >> do you worry about some dramatic event like in the late 1970s taking place across the world? >> not really. i think the situation today is much more complex than then. the time the muslim states in the area were relatively conservative, politically controlled, internally stable, with the exception of iran, which eventually disintegrated. but we didn't respond by
plunging the region into the war and i think we have to thing of that very hard these days because the entire region is very volatile. tremendous emotions have been unleashed. and i think if we act unwisely or if for that matter israel acts unwisely, we can plunge the entire region, put it on fire and create international cons kweps sequences that will be menacing to everybody. >> do you think this danger will become a kind of snowballing, kind of cascade or as i say is it possibly going to peter out? >> well, it might peter out if nothing else happens and if no really insendry acts are undertaken. but, you know, its's very hard to predict now because the situation is so vole a tile. who can predict what kind of violence might erupt here or there and with what consequences. my point is that to extend the irrational players involved --
and i consider the united states to be an irrational player -- still, i think we ought to exercise maximum caution and try to dampen the emotions, provide security to those who are worried about their security, but not engage in actions that are like putting a match to a canister full of gasoline. >> do you think it would be wise to in some way condition egyptian aid on the president being willing to take harder line on the extremists within his country? >> i think it's purposeful to condition our aid to anyone in the middle east on them being receptive, also to our interest and views in the region. thank i think that is the only way to conduct foreign policy. so i approve the message the president has just sent to egypt. >> do these recent protests make you reconsider the arab spring
and make you wonder whether the rain spring has gone bad? >> well, fareed, when the arab spring was being hailed by everyone here as democracy, i was, i think, one of the very few people, maybe you were one of them, too, who publicly warned that we should not confuse pop u lichl with democracy. populism is the first phase of the political awakening of the masses but that isn't necessarily a commitment to democracy. i think many of our journalists were making loose comparisons with the spring in europe in 1989, solidarity and democracy and all of that, and pointed out that those movements in central europe were like the spring of nations in 1848. there was a legitimate and real commitment to democracy on the part of the movement and of their leaders.
that is not the case in the middle east. populism is still very, very young, immature, not really connected with constitutional conditions, recognition of the rule of law, and is being driven -- and this is very important -- by an increase iiingly radicali historical narrative in which the era of empiricalism is becoming more and more associated with us. not just with the british and the french, but with us. >> zib knew brzezinski, always a pleasure to have you on. >> it's a pleasure but a tough situation these days. i value your program. >> thank you, sir. we're going to be back with more on this. wolfowitz, bernard-henri levy and tariq ramadan when we come back. ♪
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bernard-henri le vie, the french philosopher who was instrumental in gelding the world to intervene last year. he spent a lost time in benghazi and was a friend of chris stevens. paul wolfowitz was the secretary of defense under president george. with bush and the president of the world bank and tariq ramadan. he's an author. ramadan's grandfather was the founder of the muslim brotherhood. bernard, tell us what you can tell us about libya. does this -- does this -- do these events mean that libya has gone seriously awry?
>> i would like first of all, fareed, to tell you what i know and what i remember about ambassador stevens. he was a great guy, a great fellow, great ambassador, and a great american. he was the embodiment of the best and his death is terrible loss for all of us and a loss for libya, and a loss for libya. what the imbeseals who kills him probably did not know is he was one of the best friends libya all around the world. if the dictatorship of gadhafi failed it is due in a big part to ambassador chris stevens and i want to pay him homage today before anything else. >> but what does it tell you about libya? have the extremists become so
strong in that country? what it tells me about libya is what, of course, we all knew. there is a political fight inside libya between democrats and between fanatics, between those who believe in the process, which was -- which began with the fall of gadhafi, and those who want to stop the process. the guys who are still the minority in libya, who did that, this terrible criminal act, they want to freeze the arab spring. so the question today is should we help them to switch off the flame of democracy or should we continue to believe in the flame of democracy. i believe the second. i believe that we have more than evolved to help those who are --
after ambassador stevens the stupid criminal guys who are the democrats in libya. >> paul wolfowitz, you have been consistently in favor of democracy and openness in the arab world. you have criticized arab dict e dictatorships. many people thing you were one of the brains if not the brain behind george w. bush's freedom agenda. many conservatives, many of your fellow conservatives were and are very critical and really believe that the arab spring has been a terrible thing for the united states, for our interests, for israel. how do you look at what has just happened? >> fareed, i think, first of all, i've said many times the arab spring could be followed by an arab winter and the seasonal terms doan help much. it's a mausive upheaval. it's not something a product of what george bush did. it's the products of depression and repression by these dictatorships that didn't even allow the modicum of civil society to develop as it did
develop for example, in indonesia or morocco. that's the key ingredient here. but to turn to libya, what i think we're seeing there and the only thing i would absolutely agree with what bernard-henri levy said about chris stevens, he really was a fantastic man who was advancing american interests and islamic interests and his death is an extreme loss. we don't really know yet who was behind it, but i think it's very clear these are some combination of forces that want to disrupt the progress libya has made. your viewers should understand because very few americans do, that in the elections in july, the muslim brotherhood came in a distant second and the salafis who are responsible for much of this didn't even show. so part of what we're seeing in libya, i believe, is the failure
of the west having done half the right thing, the failure of the united states and france and great britain, to equip the new libyan security forces and instead we left that to countries like qatar, and that's part of the result we're seeing, incompetent and deceitful, disgracefully deceitful security forces in libya. >> but, paul, what do you say to people who look at these protests and look at the egyptian president waffling and say, look, you know, what we've unleashed here is a kiemtd of tid tidalwave of anti-americanism. >> we didn't unleash it. again, it was a pot that was going to burst. i believe that what you said earlier is also true. this isn't the muslim world against the west. this is a fight within the muslim world, and u.s. also is absolutely right that it's very much in our interest to help those who believe in a modern
islam and modernity for muslims to win in this fight. think we should have been absolutely clear from the beginning. the president of the united states should have said it's unacceptable the way the security forces allowed the embassy to be attacks. they hadn't at that point condemned the protest or destruction of the embassy in egypt. we should make very clear what behavior we expect from these new governments whether they're democratically elected or not, there will be cons kwepss if they don't live up to standards that are important to us. >> tariq ramadan, when you look at the muslim brotherhood, these are when the protest movements have been given responsibility to run their societies. the first tests, they seem to be coming out not so well in egypt, wouldn't you agree? >> we should see quite clearly that the great majority of the libyans and egyptians and yemeni
people are completely against what was done against the embassies, the killing of the ambassador. this isn't acceptable, anti-islamic and the majority of them don't follow the tiny minority of people who exactly -- and this is right -- they exactly won this. they want the clash. the rupture with the west and getting religious credibility by being against the west. now, what is happening in egypt is a struggle for the religious credibility. so the muslim brotherhood are in charge and it's true that the first thing that should have been said is it's unacceptable and unjustifiable to attack an embassy and to kill people. this is not acceptable. this is not the right answer. even though at the same time, it's legitimate for the people to say that the people who are behind the movie and what they are trying to do, the populists
on both sides are dangerous, and we have to be clear, freedom of expression should be protected everywhere, but we can't use freedom of expression to promote racism or bigotry and hatred. >> but, tariq, let me ask you about this struggle. when you see this struggle in the muslim world, and you're probably right, this is a tiny minority that are causing the extremism, somehow the majority, the moderates cower in fear. they don't come out and openly denounce it. they fear that they will be regarded as bad muslims. why is it so difficult for moderates in the muslim world, particularly the arab world, to denounce this kind of violence in the name of islam? >> because there is a double struggle. and you are right. we need to have intellectuals and scholars being clear on the in fact this is not only not islamic, it's anti-islamic, and we don't accept that and we have to stand up for some principles
and say no to this kind of behavior. at the end of the day, some muslims are doing things that are not acceptable, stand up and say it and have the courage to face your own society and at the same time to be critical toward the american policy because this is legitimate to be critical. and they there are issues to be critical as to what is done in the middle east. >> bernard honorary le-henri le think this makes it less hopeful? >> like i said before, i believe it is a wrong path. he said that it should not be compared with what happens in eastern europe. yes and no. in eastern europe we had the democratic spring 20 years after -- 25 years after. look at what happies in hungary,
for example. budapest. so spring, winter, spring again, it's a long process. french revolution, you know the story as well as me. it was, again, a long process. democracy takes time. and another thing, what wi see today is a result of 42 years in the case of libya, more in the case of egypt, of dictatorship, of democratic. how can we hope freedom to come completely perfectly armed out of the nest after such a long time of darkness. >> bernard-henri levy, tariq ream dan, and paul wolfowitz, thank you very mump. up next, what is ahead on auto pilot in iran. we'll explore. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about that 401(k) you picked up back in the '80s.
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out of israel that we're moving toward another war in the mid east. lab to how israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu describes it. >> the president tells us, wait, there's still time, and i say, wait for what? wait until when? those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before israel. >> last month an israeli decision maker widely reported to be a defense minister gave a revealing interview in which he implied that israel could not wait for the united states to act and might not be able to wait until next spring before taking matters into its own hands. >> thank you so much. >> the decision maker made the point that israel might find
itself more hamstrung if mitt romney were elected in november. history shows presidents do not undertake dramatic operations in their first year of office unless forced to, he said. unless something dramatic changes its course, israel seems on a path to strike iran's nuclear facilities in the next six to nine months. the obama administration has brought together a global coalition, put into place the toughest sanctionser, worked with israel on a serious of covert programs and given israel military hardware it has long wanted. they have strongly implied it would be willing to use force as a final resort, but to go further and define a red line in advance would commit the united states to a certain path to war. notice that while netanyahu assails the international community by which he really means president obama for refusing to draw a clear line, he himself hasn't done so. israel has not specified an
activity or enrichment level it would consider a threshold for war. the reason is obvious. doing so would restrict israel's options and signal its actions and timetable to iran. so if it doesn't make sense for israel to do this, why would it make sense for the united states? many understand that an israeli strike would delay, not destroy iran's program. the program could with rebuilt probably quickly and with greater determination. this gentleman is one among several scholars who has documented how contrary to it that israel's 1981 attack on a reactor actually accelerated saddam hussein's determination to build nuclear weapons. remember when u.n. inspectors went into iraq after the persian gulf war in 1991, they were
stunned at how quickly and secretly hussein had rebuilt his program. the obama administration is trying to assure israel that israel does not need to act, but in doing so, it will have to be careful thought lock itself onto a path that makes american military action iner itable. we should have a national debate before the united states of america finds itself going to war in the middle east again on auto pilot. for more on this, read my piece in "the washington post." we have a link on our website, cnn.com/fareed. we'll be right back. up next, michael lewis, he's had unpress dejtsed access to president obama this summer. what did he learn. stay with us.
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i'm candy crowley. fareed returns shortly but first today's top stories. four men were killed by what are believed to be afghan police. it comes one day after an afghan police officer killed two in a british troop. they disguised themselves and ambushed an merge air base in the same region. the taliban is claiming
responsibility for that attack. chicago's public school teachers will vote today on whether to end a week-long strike. the city's teachers' union and school board reached a tentative agreement friday on a new contract. the strike closed schools for up to over 400,000 students. if they end the walkout, classes could begin as early as tomorrow. multiple arrests were made in new york as demonstrators marked the one-year anniversary of the occupy wall street movement. at least a dozen people were taken into custody on charges ranging from disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, to felony assault. demonstrations are also planned for tomorrow, the official anniversary of the occupy movement. those are your top stories. "reliable sources" is at the top of the how. now back to "fareed zakaria gps." michael lewis enters into the world and writes vividly
about it. whether it's for "liar's poker" or oakland a's for "moneyball." this time he entered an even more rarefied world. flying on the earn with president obama or playing basketball with the president of the united states. it's a unique and fascinate ag account of the day-to-day life of a sitting president. thanks for joining me, michael. >> good to see you again. >> so tell me, first of all you wrote this article while you had this mug with you, correct? >> i did. i had the gps official mug i stole the last time i was on my show on my desk and drank my coffee out of it. when whenever i feel kind of global or important i use your mug. >> i've gob to tell you, it worked. >> did it? >> first tell me about basketball. what did you learn in playing basketball with the president? the moment i liked is when you realized that he was ordering up
his mouth guard. >> yes. so the general idea is i want to get to know this guy and the office and the best way to do it is just do things with him and i asked to play in basketball game. he did not tell me what the basketball game was like. the first hint of it was like when we were meeting in the white house in the morning you can drive over to the court and he's screaming to the doctor who follows him everywhere he goes, where's my mouth guard. i say, what do you need a mouth guard for? he showed me the teeth that got knocked out in preekt games and the stitches on his lip. i said, oh, my god, what kind of basketball is this. he said, you'll see. we get to the court. it looks like a really good college basketball game. all of these guys he plays with are former college players, big time, some of them play pro. >> 20 years younger than him. >> most of them. arne duncan played. he's not 20 years younger but he played with the harvard
basketball team i was so out of my depth. i assumed he would be too. he not only plays in it, he can function in it. he's weak, but he's close, really can function in it. what it tells you -- what the game told me about him, couple things, one was nobody defers to him. he refuses to let that happen. so he gets abused just as much as he should be abused given his ability levels. he'll be wide open for a shot but he won't get the ball because somebody else is a better shooter. you wouldn't knows he's the president. that tell use the kind of person he is. even if we're obviously not equal, he wants to feel like it's a relationship of equal, and -- >> is he very competitive? >> that's the other thing. it's not game. i mean it is game, it's fun, but it's game -- he really cares who wins, and so the first thing --
the first thing he said to me after he saw me, he said, we'll just sit you for a while until we get a lead and he benched me. was joking. i was coming to play basketball with you and you're going to bench me? and he benched me. he benched me because he didn't want to lose. i think i must have gotten a little passive aggressive about it. i got a licked ticked off in, one, that i wasn't warned, and, two, that i got benched when i got in, i jacked up shots. he started screaming at me. don't throw up shots without playing defense. get back and play defense. in the end, the president's team won these games. if a sports analyst was watching the game he would say the president was a little less talented but the president's team won because they didn't take as many stupid shots and the reason was that if you took a stupid shot on the president
team, the president of the united states screamed at you. >> but that's revealing, right? he's not a guy who tries a lot of hail mary passes. he wants you to play kind of a conservative game that doesn't play too many risks. >> he plays -- it's an efficiency game. he plays a very efficient game. he moves. spaces the court very well. we played six games. he took five shots in six games which for me is not that fun. if i was president i want to be jacking it up. he made all but one of the shots because they were all -- it was precisely calculated. i saw that. i watched him do a number of things. i thought, he'd be an excellent sniper in the army. he sort of looks for his moment and then when he has his moment, he pulls the trigger. >> it's like a poker player who gets out of the game unless he has the cards. >> that's right. he'd anante, ante, ante, fold,
fold, fold. >> interesting. something else, he shows you his private office, that little cubbyhole and there are a lot of books in it. but we know he's a reading president. there's a novel on top by julian barnes. he must be the most writerly president to have become president in a long, long time. it's not about reading because a lot of people read. he has time to read novels. >> he's writing too. i think he's as literary a president than anybody we ever had, probably since lincoln anyway in that he lives -- the written word mean as lot to him, and you know, this isn't in the piece, but i can remember talking to him about this a bit. he was a different student in high school up to toward the end and he had a very late wakening in miez mind. i can kind of identify with this because i was with a late bloomer in high school and i have the same experience with
books. he said he was like passing by a church yard sale in hawaii when he was a junior in high school and he saw all these novels. they were available for a nickel apiece. he thought, a nickel? you know, i'll get these books. he started reading them and in an innocent way he got very absorbed. he kind of blended with the books. when he got out of school, the first thing he started to do is write short stories. i don't know if anybody knows that. i didn't put this in the piece, but he tried to submit short stories to literary magazines and they're very literary short stories so it's an unusual trait in someone who ends up being a political person. that's right. >> all right. we'll be back with more with michael lewis talking about barack obama. [ woman ] dear chex cereal, you've done the impossible.
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one of the things he says to yo, which struck me was, you'll notice i only wear blue and gray suits. >> yes, because he -- because -- and his point was that the simple act of making a decision degrades your ability to make future decisions. anybody who's gone -- or wandered into a costco without kning exactly what they wanted, you come out kind of shattered. you're exhausted and you wonder why you're tired. it's because you made all these trivial decision. so he's constructed his environmental to minimize the number of trivial decisions he has to make like what he wears, so he got rid of all his suits except the blue or gray suits. he doesn't think about what he's going to eat. it's decided for him. the structure of his day is largely decided in advance. so he takes that all off the table so the energy is there for the big decisions. >> and what is the nature of the decision-making? would you describe it as kind of gut, analytic, calculating? how does he make decisions?
>> this is a reay good question. not to flatter you, but he -- it is -- it's some -- it's a come -- curious come bbination becau he's by nature a very "moneyball" kind of guy, very analytical. he's very aware when he goes into a room full of advisers, what their biases might be, how they're putting their finger on the scale, very interested in -- i'll tell you what he is. he thinks probable is particularly. very aware that whatever choice he makes, there's a 45% chance it's going to be wrong, that they are inherently unharntly on certain matters and he's going to have to pretend to be inherently uncertain. he's thinking probable is
particularly. in the end it's a gut call. it's not a science. it's never a science. you never know if you know the true probabilities. so he has great faith in his instincts, great faith in his instincts, extremely self-confident. it's what -- you see it in little things he does. so in the last campaign, someone tossed him a basketball and the cameras were on him and he could have just tossed it back. instead he turns and takes a three-point shot. it was nothing but net but that's someone who's confident, he's not afraid. so there's some -- it's sort of -- at some point the analytics and the dry clear thinking ends and he says -- and he has a feel. >> there's one piece, a part where he says something to you which strikes me as a tough
thing for a president where he says i can't fake emotion, i don't like doing it. but the president is often placed in situations wher you assume he has to, you know, as people used to always say about bill clinton, he has to show that he cares. >> right. i think obama has decided that he's just a very bad actor, that there's no point in even trying to fake what he doesn't feel. he feels a lot of emotion, but he can't fake it. so anger. a lot of people wanted him to show a lot more anger than he has and this is how we stumbled into this topic hchl e says, i just -- you know, it's pointless. it's foolish, you know. there's -- not only am i bad at faking the emotion, but there's a cost because there is a strength in authenticity. if i actually only express what i feel, there will be some benefit to that. i lose that for nothing if i went about trying to fake these emotions that people seem to want me to exhibit. >> he doesn't sh mooz john
boehner, he doesn't pal around with congress, which is, you know, partly a kind of faking it. >> right. >> do you see that? >> yeah. i tell you what i see, and this is -- this is -- it's a -- it's a personality trait, but it's a pretty natural one. it's not a grotesque one. it's not something really weird about him but it is notable. he's very sensitive to the difference between a transactional relationship. he said he didn't want anything from me, i didn't want anything from him. we liked each other and he definitely puts that in a different category from transactional relationships. and on top of that, he himself is not needy. he doesn't need you to say nice things about him. he doesn't care. so i don't think it occurs to him that you need him to say nice things about you. the interaction about him, if you backed away from it, it's
very strange. i've met a lot of politicians, written a lot about them and invariably a lot of them say i love your writing, i love your books, you're -- >> they're trying to flatter you and soften you up. >> they want to have that interaction, so we are loving each other and very often i can tell they haven't read a word i've written, they're just saying that. so this president lets me into his life or let mess get to know him and never once indicates that he knows i'm an author. i mean he knows but doesn't ever say. >> he didn't say he read "moneyball." >> i know he read a book or two of mine but never offered that. there was never an attempt to flatter me. and i thought that's kind of extraordinary. he could have been just natural. maybe he didn't like what i wrote but then i wouldn't have been there if he didn't like what i wrote. he didn't go there. while in real life it's a delightful quality because he's
not phony, right? but in washington culture, he's crossways to the culture. there's no question. it's a culture of flattery. >> michael lewis, pleasure as always. >> good to see you. up next, how much does it cost to get to outer space? how about if i told you $320 would do the trick? i'll give you the details right after this. ...to our city streets... ♪ ...to skies around the world... ♪ ...northrop grumman's security solutions are invisibly at work, protecting people's lives... [ soldier ] move out! [ male announcer ] ...without their even knowing it. that's the value of performance. northrop grumman. try this... bayer? this isn't just a headache. trust me, this is new bayer migraine. [ male announcer ] it's the power of aspirin plus more in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines. new bayer migraine formula.
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the killing of ambassador chris stevens in benghazi this week made me think back to the last time such a sad event took place and it brings me to my question of the week. 1979 was the year the last u.s. ambassador was killed in an atamt. what was the country it happened in? is it, a, egypt, b, iran, c, iraq, or d, afghanistan. we'll tell you the correct answer in just a moment. go to cnn.com/fareed for more of the gps challenge and follow us
on twitter and facebook. also if you miss a show or a special, they're on itunes, the audio ipad is free or you can buy the video version. itunes.com/fareed. monday marks the 100th anniversary of the battle of an teat. . this week's become of the week is one of the finest books written on the civilian war. this republic of suffering. death and the civilian war. he happens to be president of harvard university. it's a profound moving book on how the civil war changed our understanding of death. there's a pbs documentary based on the book that's out this week as well. and now for the last look. these photos caught my eye this week. they look like stunning photographs taken out of one of nasa's multi-million-dollar satellites, except these images weren't taken by a satellite or nasa creation of any kind.
they were a product of a student's science project, one that cost a grand to total of $. that bought him the parts for his spaceship, a styrofoam box, a helium ball loon, a parachute, a second-hand camera from ebay and a gps tracker. he took these incredible photos, then came back down in a farmer's field where adam retrieved it. it reminds us all of the incredible technological revolution that is changing our lives, and, by the way, the industry of television, news, and reporting. getting pictures like this used to cost a fortune. he says this whole space thing is a hobby on the side. he wants to be a silicon valley entrepreneur. hopefully he'll get a visa to come to america. the correcte